Friday, February 27, 2009


This week has been long..everyday has felt like Friday! it's finally here and I found a few things on Etsy that are too cute to pass up!, bcyrjewelry's shop , shoshonasnow's shop, nstylevintage's shop

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad

Happy Birthday Dad! So here is a photo of your grand kids, and my sickeningly adorable nephews, Ethan and Brandon, or Tiny E and Brando, as we call them.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Eyebrows, how i've missed you

As some of you are aware, my Mom attacked my eyebrows when I was a mere tween, and my forehead has never fully recovered. I haven't plucked since 1997...but I've been sick of having really thin brows and decided to do something about it. Madeleine has been helping to shape them so they don't look like 1940's Deco apostrophe's, and so she suggested I try a brow growth. So I did. And you know what? I noticed that my brows are actually getting fuller. It's not a lot of new hair growth, but there is growth and they look a lot nicer than they did a month ago...i'll keep you posted! I used the Anastasia Brow Enhancer....once or twice a day for about a month....

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

To Tan or Not to Tan, that is the question

this is me, with a tan. A fake tan, about 2 years ago. I'm paler with darker hair now. And yes, that is my real eye color. Told you I look scary!

Women enjoy being tan. I know I do. I am not the type of person who looks good pale. I'm not a goth kid, and I don't have that porcelain, alabaster skin that looks so pretty on very few girls. I had a friend growing up who could rock being pale without looking ghostly-she had pretty auburn brown hair, was about 6'1, with green eyes and long lashes. She never tanned, had flawless skin, and always managed to look beautiful and luminous, where as when I was pale, I tended to look like I was glowing or like I was from the village of the damned. I have very pale, bright blue eyes, so, mix that with pasty white skin and you get a very odd look. I can't rock pale. So, I would tan. I was never the tanning bed devotee, I would tan naturally in the summer and get very very dark (thanks Mom for being half Cherokee) but then, after the summer, I would go back to white (Thanks again, Mom, for also being half Scottish). I never really burned, I was like toast. I'd go from White to Brown pretty seamlessly, and have only ever had about 3 sunburns in my whole life-mostly from lack of spf and spending a week at an intense field hockey camp in the glaring beach sun.

In my early 20's, when vanity really set in, I started going to the tanning beds a few times a week to maintain that healthy-looking glow. After about 2 years of tanning, a close friend of mine, who had been a lifelong, die hard tanning bad junkie, developed skin cancer from tanning beds...down there. Yup. No tan lines can come with a pretty hefty price. She's an amazing person, and after having the cancerous skin removed (again, down there) and months of follow up, she was cancer free. She was also tan free.. She was like me, and like most girls out there-she preferred a tan, and looked better with a tan, so the exploration for the perfect faux tan began.

After the cancer, all of our friends stopped tanning and decided to try something safer. With Cancer, wrinkles, permanent skin damage and running the risk of looking like a worn out catchers mit by the age of 40, I decided to explore my tanning options. Self tanners-tedious, inaccurate, time-consuming and often, messy with orange or brown hands, nails and "creases" It was around this time that the commercial introduction of spray tan came about. Ah yes, Mystic Tan....for years, you could go to a salon, get naked and have a person airbrush a tan on you. It was custom and accurate, but it was also humiliating. No one should see my pale, naked ass standing like a starfish holding my breath while sporting a hairnet, toes curled in, fingers in a claw...not pretty.
Heidi's tan looks nice. Not too dark, but looks nice and healthy. She's also been retouched, if you couldn't tell.

With spray tanning, I could go get a healthy glow in about 5 minutes. And within 4 hours, I was tan. I would spray tan 1-3 times a week to keep a nice, medium tan tone and I have to say, I loved it and to this day, spray tan when I'm feeling a little bit too pasty. You go into a private booth, lock the door, get undressed, prep, tan, towel off, dress and go. It's easy and quick. It actually takes longer to prep in the room than it does to tan. You get sprayed for 10-20 seconds, I'd gather, and I've tried every variety of spray tan. I spray tanned for years, and haven't had a real tan in close to 8 years. That's right. I get my fair share of vitamin D, but I wear spf and don't actively seek a tan like I did as a teenager. And most people thought my tan was real. Most of us have seen the orange celebrities, and that can put you off of spray tanning. The key is to know what you are doing. It sounds absurd-I just described it and you don't have to have to be a rocket scientist to figure out how to get naked and let a spray nozzle hit you. BUT you can abuse spray tanning, and that's when you go from tan to orange, or worse.

Anyone with an event-guy or girl, can take advantage of spray tanning. Here is what you need to know.
1. Spray tanning is more expensive than regular tanning. It is, but it's worth it for all the right reasons. But please, don't abuse it.
2. Exfoliate before you go, but don't shave the day of. Shave or wax or whatever you do to remove hair in advnace. If you shave, you'll get irritation, and the spray tan will cause the follicle to look dark-like a freckle or blackhead.
3. Don't shower or get wet-in any way-for at least 4 hours. Longer if you want a darker tan. If you get a shower or go swimming, you'll wash off the spray tanning liquid. If you are in the rain-it can cause the tan to "bleed" and it's hard to blend. You can get streaks-like a zebra if you get wet-since the spray tan will run with the water. I've had this happen, and the only recourse is to scrub and get rid of the spray tan.
4. Use the barrier cream they give you, or buy some. This stuff is great-GLOP it on your nails, and absorb it into your palms, blending it into your fingers-or you'll have a weird line and your hands will just look dirty. Don't forget the feet and toes too-heels especially!
5. There is residue from Spray tanning. After the spray tan, you have a towel to pat down. Use the towel. Don't swipe the spray off, but pat it, as if you are buffing it into your skin. The spray tan can be tinted or clear-I like clear b/c the tinted tends to stain clothing. It's not really permanent, but, it's a pain in the arse, and if you are wearing white, it can suck. This is minimal, really, and in over 7 years of spray tanning, i never ruined clothing, I just got annoyed. The easiest way to stain clothing with spray tan is right after the spray tan. Not patting down, sweating, getting wet-you are rewetting the spray tan, the thing that makes you tan, and if it rubs on your clothing, it'll tan them.
6. Be prepared to smell weird.
I can't stress this enough. Spray tan smells funny. Like a chemical potato, orange zest and dirt. Everyone describes it differently-my husband HATED it. He would get near me and then turn away repulsed. I didn't think it was that bad, but it does smell. This is why I suggest going at night, before bed, so you don't have to deal with going to work smelling like some funky vegetable. Plus, in the morning, before you shower, you can inspect your tan and see where you may need to exfoliate or blend.
7. The smell goes away after you shower. Don't worry, you only smell funny for as long as you don't shower immediately after the spray tan. It doesn't stay with you forever, it's just a side effect from the spray. Just make sure you actually shower-but I shouldn't have to tell you how to soap up!
8. Spray tanning lasts longer if you don't scrub. If you exfoliate your face everyday, you'll get about 3, maybe 4 days outo of your spray tan. Exfoliate ever 3-4 days, and you can get over a week out of one spray tan. If you want to get rid of a spray tan, scrub, and in about 2-3 days, you'll be back to white.

9. Ooompah Loompah Alert. The more you go, the darker, or oranger you get. One spray tan tint won't make you look like you spent a week in the Caribbean, but it will give you a noticeable sun kissed glow. You get about 3-5 shades darker, depending upon your skin tone. I found that 2x week was enough to look tan, and not look fake or gross.
10. If you are tanning for an event, like your wedding, start 2 months prior, at least, and stop a 2-4 days before your wedding. You'll be tan enough, I promise, and after a day or 2 is when your ideal tan appears. You aren't super dark, you've had a chance to not smell like potato, and it's just when the tan looks the most natural. Don't tan the day before or the day of your wedding, it's not worth the hassle!

Good luck, God Speed and Happy-SAFE-tanning!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Favorite Oscar Fashion

The Official Launch of Pearl by Milkmaid Press

Well, it's official. Pearl launched this morning thanks to the lovely Kathryn over at Snippet and Ink and I've gotten many emails asking for it already! I'm excited that there is such a great response-and for those who are curious about pricing, here is the link

Keep checking back to ATL and Snippet and Ink to see what's new, special offers, discounts and more from Pearl! Kathryn asked that I keep her in the loop when new designs are launched, and if we're doing any specials, so check here, or there to see what's happening! Things you can look forward to in the coming months include more wedding designs, baby announcement, new additions to the etsy store, business and calling cards, and sample sales!

Have a great Monday!

Friday, February 20, 2009

About Face

She's Baaaaaacccckkkk....answering more of your questions!

If I want to hire a makeup artist- what should I expect?

You spend a lot of time finding the perfect dress, perfect photographer-make sure to save face! A professional make-up artist can help you put your absolute best face forward for your wedding day. Do your research- ask recent brides about their experiences, friends, even wedding planners for recommendations. An established make-up artist will require a consult. Remember this is your big day & everyone communicates differently, so this trial run is imperative and the place to iron out any wrinkles! I always ask prospective brides to bring photos of looks they love, as well as a few looks that they don't like. One person's version of 'elegant' could be over the top for another. During the consult, besides the trial make-up, you will go over all aspects of what you're looking for on your big day (schedules,photography, bridal party,etc...). Expect to sign a contract with a deposit required to secure the date.

Can I do my own make-up for my wedding?
Only you can answer this question my beauty! However, would you have friends be the only one taking pictures on your big day instead of a professional photographer? If you are having a very low key event and you are someone who does a minimal make-up application everyday- then you probably can get away with it. I always suggest you remain true to yourself in your wedding look. However an expert knows the tips and tricks from years of experience in the industry...Techniques to bring forward your favorite features while concealing flaws that make you insecure (ie, the dreaded stress pimple)- all with the look withstanding tears, eating, sweating & kissing throughout your wedding day. Whatever your decision- may you feel beautiful on your day!

Thanks Mads! And be sure to check out Madeleine's blog and new online!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pearl by Milkmaid Press. Luxury for Less

I decided to launch Pearl as a response to the ever-changing needs of the modern bride. While I still love letterpress, I noticed a void in wedding stationery. Because I believe that your wedding stationery is the most important paper purchase a couple can make, and your stationery often sets the tone for your entire wedding, I wanted to give Brides an inexpensive alternative without sacrificing style, quality or that important first impression. So i decided to fill what I felt was a void-beautifully designed stationery that looked and felt luxurious for a fraction of the cost.

Introducing Pearl by Milkmaid Press. Luxury for Less.
Pearl is flat printed on a luminous, iridescent pearl paper, and the results are a little something special with added sheen, sparkle and powerful visual impact. Pearl paper adds a certain sheen that looks and feels really decadent. I can use complex imagery and color that I wasn't able to in letterpress-but I can also work with simple color and design. Pearl can print on the front and back for no additional charge, making Pearl extremely versatile. And to top it off, Pearl can be ready in about 5-7 business days, meaning that it's great for tight deadlines as well as tight budgets.
Pearl is also great for incorporating design and photographic elements, and I offer Pearl custom photo cards through Jubilee Photography for wedding announcements, save the dates, baby announcements and holiday greeting cards. I also offer a Stationery-Photography package-book Jubilee Photography for your wedding and get 20% off your stationery order-letterpress or Pearl, so Pearl can get even LESS EXPENSIVE!

With Pearl I wanted to have a signature collection, but I also wanted to offer custom design. For just $350, we can design a completely custom invitation suite for a bride, in addition to the cost of the actual printed materials. Hopefully within the next few months, I will have Pearl Baby, Pearl Holiday and Pearl Everyday, and am looking to sell those along side wedding invitations directly to brides or via etsy.
I love design, and I don't think that anyone should have to sacrifice quality paper goods or impeccable design because of budget or time. Pearl is the answer to any bride who wants something different, something luxurious and something unexpected!

Follicle Fear

happy as a blonde, it seems
did being a brunette drive her to drink? hmmm.....things to think about!

I have a few fears-I'm afraid of snakes and spiders. Although, I am not really afraid of them-i just don't like anything that could be poisonous that can sneak up on me. I grew up in the country, and there were all sorts of snakes-from harmless snakes to really dangerous ones like water mockessins and copperheads. And being that I never cared to study the creatures, I wouldn't know the difference so suffice to say, I don't like any of them. Maybe it's the startle factor and the way they look-all sneaky and diabolical. Spiders always try to hide under things once discovered-with those quick legs-I was attacked by a giant spider once, I was in school and it scarred me for life. I wento put on my running shoes, and when i picked it up by the tongue, a spider the size of my hand crawled out. I screamed, dropped the shoe, grabbed WD40 and windex (the closest things to me) and sprayed the bejeezus out of that thing, double fisting my chemical warfare upon this 8-legged assassin. Once I was sure he was a gonner, I ran to get my father, a Vietnam Combat Medic, who came to dispose of the carnage. Well, don't you know that persistant little spider had vanished! All that was left was a pool of windex and WD40 and an empty sneaker. All I could think was that he laid in wait for me to exact his revenge for dousing him in household sprays. My Dad eventually found him and killed him for me.

But I digress, aside from what I gather as a mutual hatred between me and spiders, and snakes, I would say there is a bigger fear that I carry with me. The fear of destroying my hair.

In this rough economic times, we are all trying to cut back and save where we can. I've always enjoyed getting my hair done-it was a day of pampering, but I'm beginning to think that forking over hundreds of dollars for great hair color isn't really all that practical or frugal, and that maybe I can find an alternative. I have fussy hair-it's fine, but I have a ton of it, and it's a combination of straight and curly and wavy. A trifecta of frustration. I'm also very oily-VERY oily, so the whole "go a day without washing" is really impossible. After about 8 hours, I could probably use the oil on my scalp to fill the tank of my wagon-which could be another way to save some green. So everyday, I wash my hair, and due to the texture, if i'm going out, I dry it too, and sometimes use a straight iron. I know, I know, I'm a hair offender, which is one of the reason's why I rely on salon quality shampoos and conditioners.
I'm about a month overdue for a haircut and color, and I'm sick of being a brunette. I'm ready to be blonde again, or at least blond-er. But when you get your hair done at a decent salon, with your favorite stylist, the cut alone can be $80 or more, and when you add color, the costs start to increase dramatically. When I do all over brunette, it's about $100 more, and when I do complex hi-lites for a dynamic look like giselle or jennifer aniston, the price can make me wince. I thought Cameron Diaz looked good on the cover of W as a brunette-but she was tan and retouched. I've always felt prettier as a blonde and thought I looked better blonde, but brunette was easier and cheaper.
So I'm thinking of crossing into uncharted territory. At home color. I'm a salon girl, and an at home color virgin. I have friends who do it, but I've always felt safer going to a professional to get my locks maintained. And I've never been "good" at hair. I'm very minimal, so I don't know if I could pull off at home color. There is also the choice of which brand to go with, which shade to choose for the desired effect, and exactly how do I do this. I guess I could go to a cheap salon and have them do it, but that scares me more than doing it myself. I had my hair ruined once-it was bleached white blonde by accident and mutilated with a razor. I wore a hat for 3 months while it grew out. And THAT was by a professional. I know I'm vain about my hair-it's a part of what makes me feel pretty, and I've been trying to grow it long for quite some time. It's starting to get to a decent length, but I fear that if I try anything at home, I could ruin all that hard work. Well, not hard work, but patience and time.

So I'm deciding whether or not to keep the brunette and do it myself, or save the hundreds for a professional and trustworthy salon visit and go blonde. I could use that money to pay off some credit cards-but I would love to get my hair back to the way I like for now, until I decide what to do, I guess I'll just weigh the options and see if my my financial woes are worth the risk, or if I should just say to hell with it and blow my money on a killer head of hair.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pretty Inspiration

I love looking at other photographers work-just seeing the amazing talent out there! I love this photo from Anna Wolf-the soft focus, the big fluffy pink flower-it just makes me feel happy and a visual massage!

Getting Fit, overcoming obstacles.

Despite suffering from often debilitating vestibular issues-I often feel like i've been whipped around in a tilt a whirl at 75mph and then hit in the head repeatedly by a 2x4, polycystic ovarian complications, searing migraines and several unknown health problems-I am pushing forward with my health goals. While Nic stayed home to work on our heating dilemma (we had no heat or hot water!) I took myself to the gym. Despite feeling dizzier than normal , whatever normal is, I ventured out, optimistic that a good run would assuage my symptoms. So, I get to the gym, the room seemingly spinning out of control, and boarded a treadmill. I'm pretty good and functioning despite the dizziness, but the introduction of the shakes and a rapid heart rate were a little worrying. I ran 2 miles, hoping that fatigue would bring my body down to a manageable level. Not wanting to push any farther this fussy body of mine, I hopped off, cleaned down my machine, and went to the locker room to rest for a bit in the cold darkness.

The dizziness isn't new. It's something I've been dealing with for the better part of 2 years. Part of why I gained my weight was the misguided suggestion that I might be diabetic, or at the very least, hypoglycemic. If i don't eat, i get dizzy and shaky, so with incessant dizziness, I was eating all the time hoping it would stop it. It didn't, and 10lbs later, I decided to stop gorging myself toward the hope of a cure. I made a Doctors appointment early in the morning, since it was a fasting test. I get there, and they tell me the test will take several hours, and that I cannot eat the whole time. Every 5-10-15 minutes, they would bring me in, give me some nasty orange soda concoction, take vials of blood, and send me to wait some more. The test started at 8am, and concluded at 1pm. My Dad had offered to take me, and he walked me to the car and gave me a juice box to recover my strength. My arms, hands and feet were sore from all the needles (I have difficult veins, I'm told). So after about a week, I discovered that while I am insulin resistant, I am not diabetic, my heart is in great shape and my the only issues appear to stem from my head. I would need yet another doctor with another set of tests. I met with an ENT (ear nose and throat) to start off-they would see if there was a problem with my sinuses or ears. A few CAT scans and an MRI later (and more money! whoo hoo!) they discovered that my brain looked good. No sign of any head issues that they could see, which was good. Before they shipped me off to yet ANOTHER specialist, a neurologist, they wanted to perform some more tests to check for other problems such as menieres disease and the like.

This next set of tests was something akin to a form of humiliating torture. They put you in a room and test your hearing. I was better than average-surprisingly so, with my cat-like hearing. Then, they put me on a table and give me a giant set of goggles to wear. I'm sure I looked like a hot mess with this black contraption strapped to my head, as little flecks of light moved about in some circus-disco-epileptic fit of rage. I could feel the headache starting, which I was told was perfectly normal. Well, it's not an ocular problem. I wear contacts, but, my reflexes are on point.

So far, so good. Well, as far as what can be expected.

Then they put these ear plugs in my ear that are hooked up to water tubes. Oh, and they leave those sweet-ass goggles on me, I'm guessing so I look dead sexy as I lay there, flinching from side to side during these tests. They run hot and cold water thru these tubes-and I tell ya, the pain involved is akin to being stabbed in the ear with a hot poker. Heat doesn't register in the ears as hot-it registers as severe, punched in the face by a fist on fire pain. After those happy moments of seemingly unending ear torture, I'm sat up and put in a chair and spun in circles. Then I have to do the sobriety walk. Goggles, still on the head and I'm being asked to call out what I see and where. At the end of several hours of medical testing, I am told by the kindly -albeit I suspect slightly sadistic-staff, that they will call me with the results. Luckily, my mother had gone with me, because after all I had been through and the vomiting that immediately ensued in the poorly sound proofed bathroom, I needed someone to drive me home so I could curl up in the fetal position in the backseat of the car. My mom had gone through the testing years ago, and it turns out her issues were caused from toxins in her bloodstream from lawn chemicals, but at least she could empathize with my plight and post-testing misery.

After several days, I received a phone call from the Dr. telling me that I was cleared of all serious problems, but that I did have a vestibular weakness in one of my ears which would cause me to suffer from imbalance, dizziness and other minor inconveniences. They said that it wasn't enough to cause severe problems, and that the vestibular issues coupled with a neurological condition is probably the culprit. Their guess was that I was suffering from vestibular migraines, but that a neurologist would know for sure. They said stress and environmental problems could also cause my symptoms.

Oh, and I was also warned that new tests would await me should I make THAT appointment.

I'm still trying to sort out my issues, and after my own personal assessment, I am going to see if I can help myself through diet and exercise. I'm cutting out caffeine, as that seems to exacerbate my condition (caffeine adds the oh-so-delightful shakes to the mix), and I'm going to eat only healthy, clean foods and see if that helps. I'm working out and doing balancing exercises, since that should help improve the vestibular nerve weakness. I'm functioning, and I can work just fine.

And despite what seems like a lot stacked against me, I know I'm lucky in so many other ways. My mom always told me to be strong and to look for the bright side in every situation, and that no matter how bad it seems, it will get better, and to be thankful that it's not worse. If we don't know what it's like to suffer, or to be miserable, we can't appreciate all the good that life has to offer. We can't appreciate our successes if we've never experienced failure. She said it's easy to live and find happiness when life has you on a pedestal and everything is going your way, but you really discover who you are when you are crawling up a mud wall. That it's our adversity that defines our true character. My mom has always been able to put things in perspective for me, and she's never let me wallow in pity. When I would complain about something I didn't have or couldn't do, she quietly say things like "You have never had to study for anything, yet you get A's. Be thankful for that" or "You have such a pretty singing voice, not many people can really sing" or something simple and silly "At least you have straight, white teeth". She forced me to focus of my strengths, gifts and abilities, and not on my deficiencies or insecurities, and to appreciate the good, no matter how little of insignificant it might seem. She's taught me to approach my obstacle with pragmatic thought, perseverance, and a sense of humor. And I carry that with me though every trial and tribulation, and when times are good, I remain humble because of her, and remember the real blessings in life. I might have my fair share of worldly issues, from work and money, to health and vanity, but when it comes right down to it, those miserable times where I was-or am-climbing up that mud wall, I know that what really matters I have in spades. An awesome family, unshakable faith, the most amazing friends, a great husband, hell, my pets even kick ass-and no matter how dizzy I get, or discourage i might be for a few minutes, in the back of my mind, they are there, supporting me and loving me, no matter what.

I give Nic a call and tell him that I'm dizzy, and he tells me he'll meet me at the gym to follow me home, so I feel safe. That's all I needed to hear. I was dizzy, and I knew I would be dizzy running or dizzy sitting on the couch at home, so with my fitness goal in mind, I get back on the treadmill and keep on running.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Shoe Fetish

Happy Monday! I'm sure many of you girls are caring for a sugar overdose from V-Day, so I thought why not tempt you with something that won't add to your waist line, something every girl, no matter what her dress size, can feel sexy wearing....enjoy!

Christian Louboutin Prada Dior Giuseppe Zanotti Sergio Rossi,

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Found on the happy little bog, oh hello friend.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day

I love holidays-but Valentines Day has always left me feeling torn. It goes back to early school-elementary to be exact. Remember spending the week leading up to Valentines Day making your Valentines Card Bag out of a kraft lunch bag and pink and red construction paper? And then, you'd bring in your dime store cartoon valentines and put them in your classmates bags. I never wanted to put valentines in the bags of the boys I found icky, but my Mom made me give everyone a Valentine. I recall one boy who used to pee his pants thought that by me giving him a Valentine, that meant I wanted him to follow me around the playground. Thanks Mom. I think he's a Doctor now at Johns Hopkins....funny huh?

Then I got to High School and the weeks leading up to Valentines Day was filled with kids from various groups trying to sell candy grams and chocolates. You'd watch the boyfriends shuffle up to the desk and hand over a $1 for some lollipop that would be delivered to his girlfriend in 7th period on Friday. The best part? His girlfriend would be watching him order this token of affection from her lunch table. Do you remember those "serious" high school couples? We had several of those, and the girls were always called to the office because "someone" bought them roses that were delivered during lunch, so she would carry them around all day, invevitably blocking someone's view of the chalkboard. And then there were the mean girls who would order candy for the people they made fun of, as a way to mock them somehow. I wasn't ever friends with these mean girls, but I did play sports with them, and I remember them cackeling in the locker room after sending fake valentines to a girl from a boy that the girl really liked. It was cruel and unnecessary, and I guess that's where my disdain for Valentines began. I never have participated in Valentines Day, not since my mom bought me Jem and the Holograms Valentines back in grade school. Once, in High School, a boy who liked me bought me a bag full of soaps and lotions from Victorias Secret. I had a feeling he had liked me-he was cute and popular and shy, and I wonder how much courage it took him to walk up and give me a bag of soap, which looking back, is kind of offensive, if you think about it! But I was shy too, and terrified of the slightest rejection, that I graciously accepted and coyly flirted, but a few weeks later, I guess frustrated that I wasn't more bold, he ended up dating one of my very aggressive girlfriends, who had made no secret that she had a thing for him. We hung out a lot after that, and he continually confessed his crush on me, but, I wouldn't betray my friend, despite the fact that she knew I had liked him back. Oh well.

Now that I'm married, Nic and I have a pact. No gifts, nothing fancy, nothing special. Valentines is just another day, and we should try to be sweet and romantic and spontaneous throughout the year, not just on this one holiday. But I must confess, as a girl in a serious relationship, I wouldn't mind coming home to some pretty flowers, or chocolate in some form.

Or hell, maybe even some soaps.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Vintage Valentines

I love the old fashioned valentines that feature inanimate objects saying kitschy things to one another....

What's more dreaded than Friday the 13th? Getting a Bikini Wax! Madeleine is back to answer some anonymous questions about the hair...down there...

Ah the brazilian, for most women a dreaded word- for most men their fantasy. There are a lot of different terms when it comes to bikini waxing, so I am here to help shed some light. First off to get a good visual imagine you are wearing a classic bikini bathing suit bottom( no tangas or thongs!)
The basic terminology are these:
1) A Classic bikini is very modest in terms of waxing. The hair line that is established is 2 finger widths (place your pointer & middle finger together like you're pretending to shoot a gun ) inside the bathing suit line.
2) A French bikini takes it up a notch in terms of removal & the hair line is moved 4 finger widths inside the bathing suit line. It's a nice meeting point & probably our most popular request.
3) The Brazilian- as our menu states is" As much off as your little heart desires!" Menus have lots of names for it, including the Bald Eagle & The Telly Savalis! This doesn't mean everything must go, again whatever you're comfortable with. Some prefer to leave a 'landing strip' which is a 2 finger width little rectangle remaining in the center with everything else removed, including the derriere. Most fear the pain, but to be honest most clients say the outside waxing hurts more than the 'inner' waxing. I have shaped hearts, even shamrocks- but you establish the shape. Please remember that your waxer does this for a living, we do it everyday & we are comfortable with it- so don't be embarrassed. I have 2 clients that come in after work together, have a glass of wine, get their brazilians, & then grab dinner.

Remaining consistent with scheduling is important in waxing, so this way helps them keep regular appointments(their hubbys are more than happy to watch the kids that night!)

Wishing you smooth skin for your Valentine!


La Papillon Spa, 9642 Deereco Rd, Timonium MD 21093 | 410.252.1400 |

Thursday, February 12, 2009


For those of you who enjoy spending hours on the web-or need to spend hours on the web to make the work day go by faster but still look like you are working-please head over to the highly addictive This site is a girls delight-I spent half my morning browsing through their collection of assorted pretty things and putting together my own little inspiration/style boards. You can choose from dresses, pants, shoes, accessories, backgrounds, texts, music, home goods and so much more. Put outfits together, then buy them from the online vendors who are supplying the imagery. I spent an hour putting different sets together, but my favorite has to be this casual look I put together the other day. It reminded me of a relaxed Thursday afternoon spent meeting with clients, grabbing a quick bite and maybe taking myself to an afternoon movie. Polyvore is highly addictive, and you'll find yourself sitting in front of a computer screen for hours putting outfits and inspiration boards together. So if you have some free time or are looking to overcome boredome, polyvore is just what the fashion doctor ordered!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Getting Bridal Bare

Madeleine is back with answers to some hairy questions some of you had about keeping your "garden" and the rest of the property well maintained....

I've never been waxed & I think I want to get everything waxed before the wedding?
I always caution aganst trying anything new right before your big day- since you & your skin are already stressed & you don't know how your skin may react.. I recommend scheduling a trial waxing about 6-8 weeks prior to the waxing you'd want right before your wedding to make sure your skin isn't irritated. That way you can plan accordingly to be bump & hair free for your perfect day.

How long does my hair need to be?
I promise that your esthetician wouldn't whip out a ruler & measure your hair length! However if your hair is too short you are wasting both your & your esthetician's time. What's important to remember is that the hair needs to have enough length for the wax to be able to grip onto & pull it out. So when it doubt- try to wait it out! Also if if you tend to shave, the follicle is coarser & more difficult to remove- so make sure you have at least 2 weeks of hair growth for your technician. Though it does require some patience- being completely smooth for the big day & your honeymoon is the reward!

Thanks Madeleine, as always for your sage advice and beauty expertise...looking forward to more answers to the time old beauty questions, and if you have any beauty questions or problems you want Madeleine to address, leave a comment or shoot me an email at!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Getting Fit, the Revenge

Because of the great response I received from yesterdays post about fitness and dealing with body image, both in the comments and via email, it made me think "why not make this something bigger, something that motivates?" So I've decided to offer rewards and prizes for the most inspiring stories at the end of July. That should give all of us the time we need to get back into shape and to not only improve our overall health and fitness, but to improve the way we see ourselves. Start sending your stories this summer, June, July, and check back here at ATL for updates and information! If anyone is interested in donating goods or services, big or small, let me know. I'll be planning a few surprises come July 31st when the lucky recipients are start today, get up, put your trainers on and get moving. The fresh air-and surprise prize motivation- will do you and your body good!

Pretty Frocks

The weather here in the Mid-Atlantic has gone from bone chilling to quite Springlike over the last two weeks, and this warmer turn has inspired me to start perusing for warm weather wears. I'm really loving the pretty dresses from Christopher Deane! For those with Bride on the Brain, these would also be perfect for rehearsal dinners, honeymoons and just about anything you can muster up an excuse to put on these darling little numbers!